The General Account Book of John Clerk of Penicuik, 1663-1674
Title Details

400 Pages

21.6 x 13.8 cm

Series: Scottish History Society 6th Series

Imprint: Scottish History Society

The General Account Book of John Clerk of Penicuik, 1663-1674

Edited by J R D Falconer

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
Edition of a wealthy merchant's accounts sheds fascinating insights into life at the time.
The household account book of John Clerk of Penicuik, a Montrose-born merchant who honed his skills in Paris and brought home to Scotland a small fortune which he used to purchase the barony of Penicuik in 1654, provides an opportunity to explore the multifaceted life of a seventeenth-century merchant, moneylender, and improving landlord. This volume presents for the first time a full scholarly edition of the accounts. A prodigious bookkeeper, Clerk maintained incredibly detailed, and personally annotated, accounts which support the contemporary assessment that held him to be "a man of great sense and great application to busines"'. Uniquely, Clerk's tendency to add emotive statements or direct commentary to his detailed accounting of household expenditures sets these accounts apart from similar account books from this period. As this volume also shows, they reveal a businessman that did not suffer fools gladly and a devoted and loving husband and father who worked tirelessly to secure a future for his children, the estate, and his family name. Showcasing the household's expenditures, Clerk's accounts list a vast array of consumables and durables, his family's material support and the cost of educating his children, as well as disbursements to labourers, domestic servants, doctors, and various factors operating on behalf of Clerk and his family. Collectively, the material found in these records can contribute to broader inquiries into domestic consumption, the improvement of landed estates, gendered spending patterns, the employment of labour, household priorities, material culture, and identities and consumer behaviour in the last half of the seventeenth century.


This edition makes accessible a full edition of the accounts themselves, as well an extensive historical and historiographical introduction placing the accounts in their wider context and helping the reader to use and interpret the accounts. It also benefits from a full glossary of terminology used by Clerk. Covering the period from 1663 to Clerk's death in 1674, this volume presents the reader with an opportunity to pull back the curtains, open the cupboards, peer into the closets, and gaze onto the fields of a seventeenth-century laird's estate.
Introduction
Editorial Conventions
The General Account Book of John Clerk of Penicuik, 1663-1674
Glossary
Index

J.R.D. (Rob) FALCONER is an Associate Professor of History in the Humanities Department at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, Canada.

Hardcover

9780906245460

November 2021

£40.00 / $70.00

Available to pre-order from August 2021

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Title Details

400 Pages

2.16 x 1.38 cm

Series: Scottish History Society 6th Series

Imprint: Scottish History Society